Maintenance Checklist for Air Conditioning Ductwork

Regular maintenance of air conditioning ductwork is important to prevent damage. Maintenance of air conditioning can consist merely of replacing or cleaning filters. However, if this doesn’t help remove dust from your home, it may be the duct work that is in need or repair. Since ducts are made from different materials, make sure you know which kind you have (fiberglass, fiberboard or sheet metal) before you start any cleaning procedure. Some materials aren’t cleaned as easily and it may be better to replace them altogether if they get too dirty or damaged. Metal is the easiest to clean.

Tips to Maintain Ductwork

  • All leaks should be repaired before you start any maintenance procedures.
  • Inspect your ductwork annually for leaks and necessary repairs. You can tell if a duct is leaking by dirt stains at the supply registers.  
  • Ductwork in attics or small spaces moves slightly over time and this causes it to kink and/or sag. Ductwork should be secured properly to prevent moving.
  • However, it should not just be laying on the floor either. This can also cause kinks, water penetration and pests like mice have easier access to it. So, when you secure it, it should be off the floor, if possible.
  • Foil tape should be used to seal up insulation rather than duct tape.
  • If there is duct tape on your metal ductwork, it should be removed.  The area of the duct should be cleaned.  The seams should be closed up and repaired and then duct mastic should be used to seal it.
  • Any metal ductwork that is exposed should be insulated.  You can test to see if there is insulation by tapping on ducts.  If they sound tinny, they are probably not insulated.